Too many people are rushing forward to proclaim that social media killed the email star, when in fact email is still the most widely used tool of communication - not just in personal or business use but also for advertising. A well-honed email marketing campaign is the best way to convert erstwhile visitors to your website into actual regular fans, but it can sometimes be difficult to walk the line. Email marketing can be the best tool you have to convert visitors, but it also can annoy and put people off your website or brand if used incorrectly.
Here are the 5 top tips on email marketing practices that will help you generate new business while keep your existing customers happy.
1. Provide Incentive
For most people, newsletters and other forms of email communication are bothersome unless there is an incentive to keep receiving them. You can convert someone who just used your services once into a regular customer if you keep drawing them back in with incentives. Use your emails to alert people to possible incentives for themselves. For example, if you run an ecommerce site, then use emails to notify people of sales and to send them ‘money-off’ codes. If people think there is something to gain, then they’ll keep your emails and are more likely to actually use them to return to your website.
2. Abide by the law (and the laws of politeness)
Emails sent for commercial purposes (a phrase which covers most marketing emails) must abide by certain rules and regulations. You should not stay within these boundaries just for the purpose of abiding the law, but also because they are often just representations of good email etiquette that you should be obeying anyway.
While not spamming your customers makes sense on a legal level it also makes sense on a practical and polite level: nobody will love you for being rude or for making interaction with your emails not user-friendly. For example, it is now both US and EU law that all marketing emails must offer a clear unsubscribe link or email address in every email you send. While you must do this to comply with the law, you should be doing it anyway because if annoys customers if you don’t.
3. Keep it fresh
This may seem like a statement of the complete obvious, but you’d be surprised at how quickly it can be forgotten. Sending out the same stale email every week gets boring after awhile, so make sure you regularly change up not just the look of your marketing emails but also the content. Make sure every email has a different subject line and offers something different to reader. Otherwise they are going to be headed for the ‘unsubscribe’ button really fast.
4. Summarize, but also offer new content
Many people use email marketing campaigns to summarize what their website or company has been up to recently. While this may be useful for people who no longer visit you regularly, you are preaching to the converted when it comes to people who visit your site on a regular basis. By only summarizing, you are offering nothing new to your core fans. Why not send out links to content exclusively for email, in addition to summaries? It’s just one way that you can cater to all demographics in your email marketing plan.
5. Keep your aims in mind
You must target your emails to your target audience, so never forget what the primary purpose of your email marketing campaign is. If you’re trying to retain customers by encouraging them with deals, then tailor your emails accordingly. If your aim is to provide new information for new customers, then do that. If you stop thinking about the goal of your email marketing campaign, then often you’ll drift away from the best course of action. If you want to drum up new business using email then the best advice is simply to make a plan, then stick to it.
About the Author Endre R., who is a small business manager and freelance writer. He represents companies that strive for excellence in the industry, such as Jangomail, the industry standard emailmarketingservices provider. You can follow his latest rants on Twitter.